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As an American-based Evertonian, I feel it is necessary for me to explain how I came about finding out my love for the club and why I love the club so dearly. I was never really much of a footy fan until high school, when the school I attended turned out to be a haven for the beautiful game. My interest gradually grew to the point where I started to watch matches that came up on ESPN and learned a thing or two about the Premier League, my league of choice.
There came a point when, as my interest continued to grow, I needed to identify with a club. I guess you could say I was a Manchester United fan by default, mostly because they were the most advertised team in America and because most of my friends supported them. One day in 2009, a FA Cup semifinal match was being broadcast on ESPN, featuring mighty Manchester United, and a team I hadn’t heard of before, Everton. As I watched the match, something strange was coming over me. I felt myself starting to root more and more for the team in royal blue. As the game drew to a close and penalties loomed, I found myself kneeling in front of the TV, sweaty and nervous, trying to will Everton on to victory with my eyes and silent shouts. When Jagielka’s penalty slotted home, I found myself jumping for joy along with Bill Kenwright and tens of thousands of Evertonians across Wembley, and across the world.
The game alerted me to my status as an Evertonian. And, as we say, Evertonians are born, not manufactured. My relationship with the club has been a wild love affair ever since this day. I count myself extremely privileged to have gotten the chance to go to Goodison and see the Toffees play, as well as go to an away match at Newcastle, while I’m still a teenager. I’m already making plans on going back in November to see the derby at Goodison and sit in the hallowed Gwlady’s Street End. Everton are a humongous part of my sports life, and, at times, seem to be the only team I truly support and love. Regardless of managerial changes, player comings and goings, potential relegations, or board problems, nothing can take away what this club means to me and so many other people. We are Everton, the fans make the club, and, if you ever come by my blog again, know you’re welcome.
Once a Blue, always a Blue.
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